Running for charity that helped Karen

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A husband will tackle a half-marathon to raise money for a charity which helped his wife while she battled cervical cancer.

Batley Community Choir member Graeme Rayner’s wife Karen had to undergo a radical hysterectomy after being diagnosed following a routine smear test.

This meant the pair were unable to raise anymore children after having Caitlin, nine, and Archie, six.

Mr Rayner, of Groves Hall Road, Dewsbury Moor said: “It knocked us for six a bit.

“One of the groups we were made aware of was Jo’s Trust. It supports families that are going through that issue specifically.”

Mrs Rayner, from Batley is now cancer-free and hoping to have the five-year all-clear in time for her 40th birthday next April. But her lymph nodes had to be permanently removed, meaning she suffers from swelling, aches and pains in her legs.

Mr Rayner said:“Her life was changed in her mid-30s forever. It was a massively difficult time in our lives really.”

Mr Rayner will take on the 13.1 miles of the Great North Run in Newcastle on Sunday with Karen’s brother Andrew Martin, 22, from Batley.

They hope to raise £800 for the charity – and need less than £100 to reach the target.

After running several 10k races, Mr Rayner decided he wanted to raise his game before turning 40.

The consumer care manager said: “I’m a big lad, I’m not in peak physical fitness. I thought I wanted to do something a bit more memorable.

“Karen’s trying to be encouraging and supportive and suitably nagging me to make sure I go out on training runs.”

The couple are now urging people not to miss routine smear tests because Mrs Rayner’s cancer could have become more serious if it had not been identified as early.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com and search BigDaddyG-GreatNorthRun.